More threads by cm


Four years ago I moved out with our two teenage children. I had a lawyer draw up divorce papers and my partner avoided being served for a few months. Then, one of our sons became ill, and I put the divorce proceedings on hold. Our son continues to require some support but is fairly healthy now. My former partner also went through depression etc. Then almost two years ago his mother (whom we were all close to) unexpectedly died while the boys and I were staying with her over the summer, as we had for many years. It has now been four and a half years that we have been living separately. I have not been able to make progress at actually separating our finances and getting a divorce. My former partner gets very angry and tells me I have to keep discussing the steps together with him. I tried telling him I don't want to, as he has a history of avoiding changes and decisions. He counters that my actions with a lawyer would be wrong and it's better to work through the details ourselves and then each take it to a lawyer later. I think he is stalling and feel like this could go on for another ten years. He says we shouldn't have a specific date to work towards, but just keep working on the individual steps of the process until we completed the steps and are ready to go to the lawyers with the paperwork. He has some good points with this, except that in my experience with him for twenty years, it takes him an extraordinary amount of time to get jobs done, and many never got done (our family home is his residence and it has been neglected to the point of now having substantial damage,and no running water, as he refuses to get plumbing repairs done). I don't think I can proceed with a divorce unless I do not have to speak with him any more. I do not want to be verbally abused and intimidated by my former partner. I would like to move to a different town and have a lawyer proceed, but my youngest is settled in high school for another three years.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I have had clients in a similar position and my suspicion is that you are correct: He will string this as long as possible until you put your foot down and proceed unliaterally. It's partly as control thing and partly a fear of being put in a position where the court will be telling him what he can and cannot do with respect to child support, access, etc., etc.

My strong advice to you is to see your lawyer and instruct him/her to initiate legal separation proceedings (assuming by now you still need that step - otherwise, have the lawyer go straight to filing for divorce). If or when your husband objects, have your lawyer write a letter advising him of your rights and particularly of your right to freedom from harrassment and the penalties should he invade your rights. I think until you do this and do it unilaterally, you cannot expect any significant changes from him.


I agree wholeheartedly with David. If I were you, I'd see a lawyer immediately and get this show on the road. Four and a half years is more than long enough to have made the necessary decisions and get on with your separate lives. Like David, my guess is he's just postponing the inevitable. It seems to be his style. When his style interferes with your life, it's time to take action to get him out of your life for good.


it seems to me that you are now at the point of "letting him go" completely, i.e. not letting him control how you think, feel and react.? ye have had 20yrs to learn how to push each others buttons and this could be what he is doing now, pushing yours to delay, (as TT & david said) the inevitable.? ?if you are ready to proceed then "Go For It".? ?Try to remember as you go thru this, that his reactions, (how he feels ect) are for him to worry about, Not YOU!? ?You only need to think about you and your children.? ? you know what u want, need ect.. and getting your own lawyer to help sort it out is the way to go.? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
it is hard tho.. I know! (my own divorce hearing is next week. ) *s*

Best of luck ok.
I am sorry to hear this is all still going on. :(

I do think it is time to see a lawyer if at least to talk over various options.


hello again CM,
i just want to say that as u go thru the process of divorce it does get easier as long as YOU hang on to what u need and want out of it. My ex husband (divorce final since ) used to make so much sense that i used to let him persuade me to do things his way, even when they didn't sit right with me.? ?Took me a long time to realise that i had a mind of my own, and talking to someone helped me clear up what i needed\wanted to do. In your case a lawyer could (would) help in this regard.? And posting here as well.? ?in my case the only issue? left was the hse, and he tried every trick inthe book to deny me "compensation*.? ?So even tho our situations are different,? I do appreciate\ understand the thoughts that could be running thru yur head.? ? ?

let us know how u getting on, even if u don't contact a lawyer..ok.
best of luck


Re: Afraid

Thank you for your support. I am attending counselling once a week now and I have just gone back to the lawyer and asked them to help me get divorced. The lawyer is concerned that I will back down again. i told the lawyer I do not want to see or talk to my former partner at all as I am terrified now that I have taken steps which will enrage him. I am so afraid I feel like I could have a nervous breakdown. It is difficult to sleep and I have scary thoughts, feelings and dreams. I will contact my counsellor tomorrow and go in for help more frequently.? I have never had a drug problem, but this kind of feels like I am in withdrawal from some powerful controlling thing in my life. I am psychologically so fearful and the fear fluctuates from scared and nervous, to terrified out of my mind. I don't understand why I am so scared. Even the answer to that frightens me.


? this kind of feels like I am in withdrawal from some powerful controlling thing in my life.
i remember that feeling.. and it was scary and frightening.....all the what if's..? i was answering them and following them with other what if's... .? I had to remember to think what did i need\want.?

you mention his rage.. i was so terrified of my ex.(he had told me? yrs earlier he would shoot me and the kids if i ever thought of leaving him).? I took his rifle apart and took the firing mechanism to the police station and handed it in.? ? (this was my way of handling one of my fears at the time).

i'm glad you have taken the steps you have.. and your counsellor will help you thru the uncertainty, doubts, feelings? etc as will the other s here.? and your lawyer will handle the legal of things.

all the best


Just an update on the situation. I had another appt. with lawyer and he says the case is very complex since I left it in limbo for a few years. He told me he doesn't really want to take it and if he did it would be because he doesn't believe any other lawyer would touch it now. He said I would have to sign a small mortgage loan against my part of the family home if he was to help me. I'm thinking about it, but I think I could end up losing any assets I may have from the past twenty five years if I proceed in this manner.


hi CM..
1st of all i wouldn't necessarily take your lawyers word that no-one else will take your case because of any complex issues involved.? this is what lawyers are for .. to sort them out!?
Have you tried to contact any other lawyers.(using the info,, the issues as pointed out by this lawyer to give them an idea of what might be involved) get an idea of costs ect...? ?can't do any harm, can it?
2.? there were many, (a lot) yrs before our divorce was even started.. so i can't see what the time element has to do with it.? (but then i'm in Irl, could be diff for you)
3.? there is always a risk with divorce.. but u have to ask yourself does the benefit out way the risk of being out of this tangle you are in now.
4. if it's the value of the assets as tied up in the family home only..?maybe ask yourself? do you want the house.. will u ever live there again,,(some of the others on here might have other ideas for you on this) if the answers are no.. then why worry about it.??
5.? Taking out a small morgage on the family home.. (is tied in to above)? maybe another laywer won't need you to do this.
maybe another lawyer will take the case on a no win no fee basis.. (mine did).
( i'm leaving out any sentimental value\ memories etc here)

The courts\lawyer will make sure that you get any entitlements\belongings\monetary value? etc..

i know diff countries have diff ways, laws etc concerning divorce proceedings.. so maybe nothing above helps..
just thinking off the top of my head.

another thought.... Where there's a will there's a way.

hope you find the way.

all the best.


cm: just wondering how things are with you.. u doing ok? let us know if u can.
even if u don't\can't go thru with dvorce you can still talk to us here.

thinking about you ..



Hi all,
Just wanted to give a brief update for those who have been so supportive.
I had a first time panic attack out of the blue a couple of weeks ago. One of my teenagers was home and I asked him to call the ambulance as I thought I was going to lose consciousness with an impending heart attack, stroke, or something. I truly believed that I was probably going to die, so that was quite an enlightening experience.? I was only in hospital for a couple of hours and recovered. I now know that I need to work on getting myself back into shape--physically, mentally and emotionally, before I go into a stressful divorce conflict. I'm getting regular counselling, exercising, working, and parenting.? This seems to be my limit at this time and any additional stress would be overload.
I have more understanding now for people who suffer panic attacks and other anxiety disorders. Some part of the brain seem to just kick in and take over. I found it very frightening, and intriguing, how chemical changes affected cognitive and other functions. Exercise is helping tremendously and this experience was a good motivator. Thanks for listening.


hello CM, i've been missing for a while so still catching up here..
glad to hear you are getting regular counselling and that itis working well for you.
good to hear u are looking after yourself too .. well done!

thanks for the update.
thinking of you
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